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Persian Wars

8 Pages

Classical Studies
Course Code
Classical Studies 1000
Shauna Burke

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1 The Persian Wars (490 & 480-478 BC) • classical age Assyrians: • not an empire- Bandit-kings • only periodically go to neighbours & demand respect, acknowledge authority, grain, gold etc. • gave others though choices • destroyed in 612 BC; by coalition • map of Persian Empire • Eastern Mediterranean • dominant culture famous scholar: James Redfield- had the Greeks been overtaken by Persians, world would have • been better place Rise of the Persians (559-522): map of what Persian empire will become • • conquered a region- set up armies, enforced laws, collected taxes, pony express mail system • Alexander the Great- destroyed their library & cultural capital • incorporated people & make them part of their land; unusual at time • unlimited business opportunities • resented by many Greeks • had provinces Cyrus (550-530)- messenger sent from god; free them fromAssyrians (viewpoint of Jews) • • Zoroastrianism- monotheistic religion; forces of light vs darkness, child of light, good vs evil • Persians conquered Lydia; demanded to be recognized as ruler Darius & Empire (512-486): • systematically tried to organize the empire into true administrative hub • capital city, governor (collect, send taxes), Greek road system 2 • Hippias- son of tyrant Peisistratid; kicked out & fled to Persian court; becomes important b/c he gives advice to king Ionian Revolt: • Aristagoras- tyrant, backed by Persian king; borrowed money from influential Persian, found himself unable to pay (spent money), frightened; instead of going to Persian jail, tried to inspire revolt in Ionia; succeeded in getting Ionian cities together to revolt • Sparta: rejected • Athens send 20 ships & Sparta- 3000 men • Athenians trained Ionian communities, banned together, rose up & successful in sneak attack • Burning of Sardis: marched to central city & either intentionally or unintentionally burned to ground & looted • wanted to conquer Greece 1st Persian Invasion (490): • sent ambassadors to Sparta &Athens & demanded they submit to Persian rule hand over earth, water, salt, fire; recognize authority & be part of empire • • kicked Persian king in well; no answer - > war • sailed across sea to Greece fromAsia Minor • couldn’t stay out in sea indefinitely; stopped at Greek communities periodically • 25000 Persians sailed across to Athens but in order for them to get toAthens other Greek communities must have helped them along the way to get there (MANY GREEKS WELCOMED THE PERSIANS) • landed in Marathon- small village on eastern side of city ofAthens; after war- so moved by Athenian victory, wrote about it extensively & inspired others later • requested help, only got help from 1 small polis • Sparta couldn’t leave w/o festival being over fighting side= 9000+ men & other small polis • • Athenians won (25000 vs 9000); big feat • casualties:Athenians- 192, Persians- 6400; have an effective battle strategy 3 • set up mound to honor fallen & victory • black line- sailed to Marathon, travel aroundAthens to city before Greek soldiers • believed some people fromAthens were flashing signals to Persians; encouraged • Sparta congratulatedAthenians for feat Themistocles: • 25 000 was a small army for Persians • Athenian- fought at Marathon; leading politician Athens, shortly after driving Persians away, found silver mine in polis, belonged to entire • community, not individuals, even if on own property • some thought every family should get equal share • vast majority towards building navy & harbour w/ docks, facilities- house ships that were going to be built • 3 level ship: each level would 180 rowers • became well coordinated- accelerate quickly, stop & pivot, back up, etc. Great Persian Invasion (480): • slave who’s only job was to remind king to not forgetAthenians, 3 times/day • king died, son carried out Great Invasion • Persian king wanted to number soldiers- too many to count; built circular wall w/ 1 exit & 1 entrance; had group of soldiers come in at once, numbered them • 500000 men, 1000 ships • about half of Greek polis gave open harbour, remaining- dispute about what should be done • sided- northern Greece, Ionia • dissension among the poleis Thermopylae: • dispute about battle strategy • take boats & sail westwards, find new polis Sparta- agreed to make stand north ofAthens • 4 • ‘hot gates’ • vast Persian force would be huddled into 1 area • Greek fleet had to stop Persian league atArtemision as they were approaching • Persians come, stormy weather, badly battered; first contact w/ Spartans- took key positions, stand side by side, slaughter Persians & keep others at bay • Spartans commanded a full on retreat; ships and men back to Peloponnese; buy rest of greeks to regroup; hold off army of thousands of Persians • 300 Spartans & king- agreed to hold Persians, lasted 4 days- all died, except 2, who tried to kill themselves b/c they felt guilty of fellow soldiers • shining moment • obedient of law, standard of excellence- weapons broken, continued to fight • sent scouts to see Spartans- earned admiration of Greece • Athens burned- Athenians had to watch, in boat, south ofAthens at Salamis- in vengeance of burning of Salamis • middle of night- messenger: if move quickly, could surround Greek fleet & destroy them • messenger- if Persians win- gets rewards, ifAthenians win- could say he was right • Persian king, in panic, took remaining ships & sailed back to Persia, left behind army; Persians still had sufficient land force to deal w/ Greeks Battle of Salamis: Themistocles tricked the Persians and told them to come during the night encouraging the Persians to “trap” the Greeks Sk
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